FrozenRoyalty.net’s Gann Matsuda Breaks Down How Signing Defenseman Rob Scuderi Was A Critical Moment Leading To The Kings First Stanley Cup
Defenseman Matt Greene and center Jarret Stoll had a year with the Kings under their belts, having been acquired from the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on June 29, 2008. The following Spring, veteran right wing Justin Williams was acquired in a trade (March 4, 2009) from Carolina.
As such, even though the Kings were at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings, and well out of the Western Conference playoff picture, the future was starting to look bright.
One who noticed that was veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi, an unrestricted free agent who signed a four-year contract with the Kings on July 2, 2009, after winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins about one month earlier.
Kings television color commentator Jim Fox noted during an exclusive interview with Frozen Royalty this past summer that Scuderi signing with the Kings was a major turning point for the franchise.
“The one thing that stands out, and Dean is part of this, is when Rob Scuderi, of his free will, decided to sign with the Kings,” said Fox. “That, to me, was the sign of a change, that someone from the outside was recognizing what was happening on the inside.”
“I’m sure Rob was looking at the moves Dean had made, the foundation,” added Fox. “How old are they? Are they a young team? I think he looked at that, and thought this was a pretty good place to be.”
As it turns out, Fox was right. Scuderi did his due diligence, and chose the Kings as a result.
“You have some time to think about it, and you don’t really know who’s going to [make an] offer,” said Scuderi. “But once you have the offers come in, you can go online, and take a look at who they have, and what [the team] is looking like.”
“When you’re a free agent, a lot of people think you can just choose where you want to go, but that’s certainly not the case,” added Scuderi. “Of the teams that offered, there were some good choices, and certainly money is a factor. But I thought, given the contracts, the places to go, and the teams I was going to, [the Kings] had the best chance.”
“Could I have predicted what has happened in the three years that I’ve been here? Not really. But I thought [there was] a good chance, and luckily, that turned out to be correct.”